Server Chassis for U.2 NVME drives server build.

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ycp

Member
Jun 22, 2014
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Hello,

I need to build a large nvme file server with 8x 15.36TB U.2 NVME drives or 4x 30.72TB U.2 NVME Drives.
What options for chassis should i look into, supermicro preferred?
Also what model SAS HBA's should i look for? Also dont need hardware raid.
 

i386

Well-Known Member
Mar 18, 2016
4,168
1,527
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Germany
It depdends on the mainboard.
Some epyc mainboards have oculink ports onboard.
If you don't have them you could get retimer (pcie 4.0 and newer), redriver or passive pcie cards (pcie 3.0 and older) for connecting to u.2/u.3 backplanes.
Example for a pcie 4.0 redriver add on card: AOC-SLG4-4E4T | Add-on Cards | Accessories | Products - Super Micro Computer, Inc.
What options for chassis should i look into, supermicro preferred?
if you want to go the 4x u.2 ssds route you could look at the 4u/towers 743 or 745 and replace the existing backplanes with a 8x sas/sata 4x u.2/4x sas/sata backplane (BPN-SAS3-743A-N4, I got two from ebay for ~120€ each)
Another 4x u.2 option is the 826 chassis, there are different options for backplanes (passive, single & dual expanders)
For 8x u.2 there is a 747 chassis with a 8x u.2 bay and the 846 with the expander backplane.
If you don't plan to use 3.5" devices you could get a 216 and replace the backplane with the 24x u.2/u.3 backplane (BPN-NVMe3-216N-S4, 400$ at wiredzone)
 

ericloewe

Active Member
Apr 24, 2017
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Sorry my mistake, what i meant was would i need some sort of HBA card to connect to the NVME backplane?
You may need adapters, possibly including redrivers or retimers, but they are not HBAs, they merely get the PCIe signal from A to B within the required margins. That's a huge difference from SATA and SAS and half the benefit of NVMe.
 

vincococka

Member
Sep 29, 2019
43
19
8
Slovakia
Regarding Supermicro AOC-SLG4-2E4T - just be caucios as it requires that you have to set "DN TX Preset" for your particular PCIe port.
Don't ask how I know this :), all by own experience and now 2pcs are laying on the shelf and are unused.

If you want to connect couple of PCIe NVMe consider following
1, c-payne SlimSAS <-> pci-e adapter
2, Supermicro CBL-SAST-0953
Here it is enough to have just Bifurcation option in BIOS, and "DN TX Preset" configuration option is not required.
 

soundengineer

New Member
May 28, 2023
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1
Philadelphia
Are you going to install Proxmox with built-in ZFS on bare metal? Or TrueNas on bare metal? Or what? I've asked SM - Supermicro (kindly) if they would assemble a H13SSL-NT Epyc 9004 motherboard into a CSE-GS7A-2000B case, and their first inclination was yes, though they are waiting for more details from me. The CSE-GS7A-2000B case is currently sold on SM eStore with the Intel Xeon - see SYS-551A-T with a X13SWA-TF motherboard. The H13SSL-NT should by all of my research fit into the CSE-GS7A-2000B, there being a difference of eight holes for the Epyc versus nine holes for the Intel. The Epyc H13SSL-NT has plenty of MCIO connectors to connect to U.2/U.3's and if using the CSE-GS7A-2000B case, maybe short-enough cables to go directly to the U.2/U.3 without retiming. This is a big maybe, and that's why I would want SM to build this. I would think there is a market for a SM Epyc 9004 tower. There is room for six U.2/U.3. Still researching having six U/2/U.3 with ZFS on top of a Proxmox bare metal such that I can run several VMs. QNAP sells an all NVMe U2/U3 ZFS with great specs. But I find there's a lot of warnings about ZFS and all U2/U.3 that I have not yet got my hands around. Correct any errors I may have made. Comments?